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RSG, Ethiopian Airlines Firm Up Permanent Flights

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The Rivers State Government and the management of Ethiopian Airlines have reached an agreement, in principle, for the operation of permanent international flights from the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, subject to the approval of the relevant federal authorities.
The two parties reached the agreement at the Headquarters of Ethiopian Airlines after a high-powered meeting between officials of the state government led by Governor Nyesom Wike; and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Ethiopian Airlines, Dr Tewolde Gebremariam, the Chief Commercial Officer, Esayas Wolde Mariam, Vice President, Strategic Planning, Busera Awel, Managing Director, Sales International, Lemma Yadecha, Regional Director, Sales and Services, Western Africa, Mitiku Asrat and Manager, Group Alliance and Commercial Cooperation, Hewoel Lemma.
In an address, Chief Commercial Officer, Esayas Wolde Mariam, explained that Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to fly permanently from Port Harcourt International Airport, subject to the approval of the Federal Government.
Mariam said: “We are willing and capable to fly into Port Harcourt on a regular basis. For now, we have exhausted our Bilateral Air Agreement Approval, and we need another approval to operate the Port Harcourt route.
“We need your help to ensure that approval comes from the federal authorities. At first, there should be a temporary operating permit, pending the final approval”, he said.
The chief commercial officer added that Ethiopian Airlines needs the initial support of the Rivers State Government for handling and aviation infrastructure in Port Harcourt to develop the new market.
He noted that Ethiopian Airlines would also embark on advertisements to promote Port Harcourt as a tourist and investment destination.
Also speaking, the Vice President, Strategic Planning, Busera Awel made a presentation on the capacity and vision of the airline for the continent.
In his response, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike emphasised that the state government was willing to provide an enabling environment for Ethiopian Airlines to operate in the state, and assured that he would meet with the Minister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, to ensure that Port Harcourt International Airport was approved for Ethiopian Airlines as a destination.
Wike further said that his administration was working on making Port Harcourt a regional air transport hub for greater economic development of the state.
He said: “As we, therefore, consolidate on our achievements, we want to also focus on making Port Harcourt City a regional air transport hub through the private public partnership (PPP) approach while leveraging on the existing aviation infrastructure and related market and other advantages of the state.
“I wish to assure you that we are ready to do everything within our powers and spheres of authority and influence to facilitate the realization of your interest and desire to directly and sustainably fly from Port Harcourt to Addis Ababa and other parts of the world”, the governor stated.
Wike thanked officials of Ethiopian Airlines for their interest in expanding and retaining their services in Port Harcourt City, adding that the Rivers State Government would offer its social partnership, goodwill and support.
The governor noted that Port Harcourt was strategically located to serve as a transit point for the entire South-South and parts of the South-East, pointing out that, “We have agreed in principle that there is need for Ethiopian Airlines to fly from Port Harcourt to other destinations. Port Harcourt is a destination of choice, as it is easily accessible for the entire South-South and other states in the South-East”.
Wike was accompanied by former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Austin Opara, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah, Director General of Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement, Mr Thompson Emmanuel, former House of Assembly member, Hon Felix Nwaeke, former Eleme Local Government Area Chairman, Chief Ejor N. Ejor, and President of Port Harcourt Investors and Entrepreneurs’ Forum, Ibifiri Bob-Manuel.

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Queen Of England Hails Nigeria At 60

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Her Majesty, The Queen of England, has sent a message of felicitation to President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, October 1, 2020.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, in a statement he issued in Abuja, yesterday, said the message was conveyed by the British High Commission in Nigeria.
According to the message, “It gives me great pleasure to offer my warmest congratulations on the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, together with my best wishes for your country’s continued happiness and prosperity.
“The United Kingdom and Nigeria benefit from strong and enduring ties as Commonwealth partners through shared history and most importantly, our people. These are bonds that I hope and believe will flourish long into the future.”
Nigeria got her Independence from Great Britain on October 1, 1960.

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Wike Hosts Nigeria At 60 Grand Finale, Today

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, will today, host the grand finale of the nation’s Diamond Jubilee Anniversary celebration in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
A statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Wenike Danagogo, yesterday, indicated that the event will feature parade and release of pigeons.
The ceremony, which will begin at 10am, at the Government House Lawn, Port Harcourt, will be graced by eminent Rivers people, politicians, top government officials, among others.
According to the statement, due to the COVID-19 Protocols, attendance will be strictly by invitation.
Consequently, the government has advised all those invited to the event to ensure they arrive the venue, at least, 30minutes before the arrival of the host, and the eventual commencement of activities.

 

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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2021 National Budget To Be Presented, Next Week –Senate

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The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, has revealed that the 2021 National budget would be presented to the joint session of the National Assembly, next week.

Lawan stated this on Tuesday after over two hours’ executive session behind close doors.
Giving a hint on what was discussed upon resumption of plenary after a two-months’ annual holiday, the Senate President explained that the 2020 implementation of Nigeria’s annual budget has been disrupted due to Covid-19 pandemic.
He expressed the readiness of lawmakers to expeditiously deal with the proposed 2021 budget which would be submitted next week, advising that head of agencies of government should make themselves available for budget defence for seamless budget passage.
“As we make effort to attend to the expeditious passage of 2021, I want to advise Chief Executives of agencies of government to make themselves available to defend their budget on time.”
He expressed fears that the impact of Covid-19 against the nation would be devastating if nothing was done to mitigate such, saying that all arms of government should hastily rise to the occasion of ensuring that the economy was prevented from going into recession.
More so, he revealed that Senators have agreed behind close doors that the electoral act be reviewed to ensure free and fair elections.
According to him, the chamber has taken note of time constraints in view of the general election, hence it would be treated with dispatch.
He also decried the high level of insecurity in Nigeria, stating that lawmakers will attend to the challenge.
“The country is bedeviled with enormous insecurity and the Senate would do all it could to address the ugly trend.”

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